Updated: 01/11/17 : 06:06:48
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World :: US President tightens security as terrorist attack leaves 8 dead in New York

US President Donald Trump has ordered the Department of Homeland Security to "step up" vetting measures, after a deadly truck attack in New York.

Eight people were killed and 11 injured when the driver of the truck hit people on a cycle path in Lower Manhattan. Five Argentines were among the dead.

A 29-year-old man was shot by police as he left the car and detained. Media named him as Sayfullo Saipov, an Uzbek immigrant who came to the US in 2010.

Officials said it was a terror attack.

The suspect is now in a hospital. A note was found in the truck that referred to so-called Islamic State, law enforcement sources were quoted as saying by US media.

Sayfullo Saipov had been arrested in Missouri last year over a traffic fine.

Meanwhile, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said the incident in Manhattan was a "cowardly act of terror aimed at innocent civilians".

"We know that this action was intended to break our spirit. But we also know that New Yorkers are strong, New Yorkers are resilient and our spirit will never be moved by an act of violence and an act meant to intimidate us," he said.

Police urged people to avoid the usually busy area as a major emergency services operation got under way.

At a news briefing, New York Police Department (NYPD) Commissioner James O'Neill described what had occurred:

Shortly after 15:00 local time (19:00 Irish Time), a white pick-up truck rented from retailer Home Depot struck cyclists and pedestrians while being driven along the West St-Houston St path for many blocks

The vehicle then hit a school bus, injuring two adults and two children on board, and came to a halt

The driver emerged holding what appeared to be two handguns and made a statement "consistent with a terror attack"

He was shot in the abdomen by a police officer stationed near the scene

A paintball gun and a pellet gun were recovered from the scene

The suspect reportedly shouted "Allahu Akbar" ("God is great") as he left the truck.

He was then shot and injured in the stomach by a police officer, the NYPD said.

Mangled bicycles littered the scene of the attack, which occurred as much of the city was celebrating Halloween.

In a statement, the Argentine foreign ministry said five of those killed were from Argentina.

It said the five men - all from the city of Rosario - were part of a group of friends celebrating the 30th anniversary of their graduation from a polytechnic school.

Another member of the group was in hospital.

One witness, identified as Eugene, told ABC Channel 7 that he saw the white pick-up truck driving fast down the cycle path alongside the West Side Highway, near Stuyvesant High School, at full speed and hitting a number of people.

He also reported hearing about nine or 10 shots.

Another witness, who gave his name as Frank, told local TV network NY1 that he had seen a man running around an intersection and heard five to six gunshots.

"I saw he had something in his hand, but I couldn't tell what it was. But they said that it was a gun...

"When the cops shot him, everybody started running away and it got a little bit crazy right there. So when I tried to look again, the guy was already down."